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markstyles

The Coastal Zone

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The Coastal Zone.. I played with developing/altering the melody, as the piece progressed, over the same chord progression, so it didn't sound too 'repeatable'.. At the end I did a little take on the Beatle's 'Hey Jude', that is repeating the same motif a number of times, but I added additional parts, made some alteration in motif, so hopefully it held the listener's interest.

For some reason, the mp3 will play on Safari, or Firefox on my Mac, but you can click on the box below the 'play mp3 box' says The Coastal Zone 199. It's gonna download the mp3 (small) and use your computers mp3 play application.  This never happened to me before - change made to website?

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Edited by markstyles
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As usual, you offer here a big palette of musical colors. Relatively speaking you think as a great orchestrator. I find the melody good and catchy. And love the bass lines.

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Oh thanx for the coment on bass lines.. I work on them quite a bit.. To me they are sometimes the most fun to create.  And the use of space (not hitting the note) can be more effective, than hitting the note. As a kid I played a cheap bass on my own home recordings.. With the Beatles, after the first 3 albums. McCartney would often add his bass, as an overdub, after most of tracks were added. So the melody, and additional parts, would impact his playing. His bass playing became more melodic.. and kind of started a new school of bass playing.. Later other bass players, really took bass playing to new heights (or depths).  They sometimes would bear as much weight, as perhaps a lead guitar.  Music is amazing, in how one can interpret, and create something new

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Mark, your piece (and its score) demonstrate very clearly that you are considerably more accomplished at composition than I am. Therefore, any feedback I can offer you is purely subjective and should not be generalised.

I very much like not only the melody but also the ambience of this piece. It sounds like music that has no wish flamboyantly and ostentatiously to flounce around calling unwarranted attention to itself, and I admire that greatly. I aspire to being able to achieve that.

I was puzzled about why you kept swapping instruments. Some of the time, I heard wonderful separation of high, mid-range and low registers, that obviously requires different instruments. Some of the time I heard different textures and timbres, also requiring different instruments (it sounded like there was a Hammond organ in there, albeit fleetingly). Some of the time I was unable to work out why you added some instruments and removed others. My temptation, admittedly out of near total ignorance, would be to limit the range of instruments a little in any one movement, and to divide the piece into several discrete movements. I've probably missed the point of what you were attempting to achieve, in which case ignore what I have written.

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Hi Hughes:

Thanks for the observations. I am not sure why, but I have started using a large amount of instruments in the last 3 years. I never used to before,  I have been thinking about the psychological impact of music on the listener. different instruments, coming and going.with their particular filtering, resonance, harmonics involved. I like creating a landscape of sound, with some natural real instruments, mixed in with artificial instruments. sometimes using sound design. Different instruments, have different acoustical space their playing in.  This has a subtle subconscious impact on the listener. 

In the 60's I played in a number of rock bands, I also got quite serious about writing songs. I got some 2nd instruments, so I could play guitar, bass, drums on songs.  In the 70's I got heavily involved in analog modular synthesizers, You could constant creating this totally un-natural sounds, that could only exist because of the synthesizer itself. This was the start of me looking at alternatives. For quite a while I did music with only synthesizers. With time I realized; it was good to use some standard real instruments. This made it more comfortable for the brain to relate to music. So I used real sample libraries, and also artificial instruments.

I like the surprise and psychological impact of a large number of instruments. Good music is careful balance of repetition, and change.  We need the repetition to develop something stable we can latch onto. We need change so the brain doesn't get bored. So I will sometimes take a motif, and then have another instrument take it up, but make some changes. So hopefully, I have just enough 'continuity' for something the brain can 'figure out' and latch onto' but enough surprise, to engage the brain to pay attention.

Often with music or anything, once the brain has figured out the pattern of something, it can become complacent. So I like the challenge of finding the right balance, of continuity, via melody, collection of a couple of instruments, which kind of 'ground' the piece,  but also the constant change of new sounds, mutation of musical melody, to keep challenging the brain. 

I had read years ago, that Prince used the technique, of constantly re-doing each part, He would record the song, Then re-do the bass part, with changes, then re-do the guitar part to complement the new bass. Then the piano etc. He would sometimes go through this cycle several times. Often the end result was substantial different than the first rendition.  I have started doing the same,  As I re-do a part,  I re-do another instrument, so that is playing along, and paying attention to the previous instrument. 

I do spend a substantial amount of time on each piece. I will often sit back, lie down, even sleep, while the music loops. I find after 50 listens, I might decide a part i liked, is no longer acceptable. 

I have received similar comments about the number of parts. It's something I want/need to work thru.  Yes some listeners, may find it too 'meandering' or confusing with all the parts, coming/going. I've been playing music for a very long time (60 years now - I can't believe it).. I took lessons and classes along the way. But I am a LOT self-taught.  I've done a lot of different genres through the years.

About 15 years ago. I decided to stop working on commercial music jobs (did it my whole life) And only do music I liked, and occasionally with singers I liked. So I could dedicate my time to pursue, what interested me.  

 

Edited by mark styles

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